WESTFIELD, Ind. – The Colts could've returned to the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center after wrapping up their preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday. But the team is still headquartered at Grand Park in Westfield for another week for one overarching reason, as head coach Frank Reich explained:
"We love it up here."
So the Colts on Tuesday hit the practice fields at Grand Park for their final few days at their home away from home in the northern Indianapolis suburb, where they've been stationed since the last week in July. The Colts will practice again on Wednesday and Thursday at Grand Park ahead of their preseason finale at Lucas Oil Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, and then will return to 56th Street.
"We could go back a week earlier but administratively with the number of guys that we have, and the setup that we have, it just makes sense to stay up here," Reich said. "The players like it up here, the coaches like it up here."
Plus, spending this week in Westfield means one fewer week of wear and tear on the practice fields at the team facility, Reich said.
But the Colts are extremely appreciative of the opportunity they have in Westfield – and relish the opportunity to get their team in front of fans for nearly a month ahead of the regular season.
"We thank Westfield, and I saw the mayor (Andy Cook) out here and what a great job they do for us," Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay said on Tuesday's episode of the Official Colts Podcast. "And for me, it's just so powerful to be at training camp, to be at a scrimmage — you know, my 51st season, and it just stirs memories, the best memories of my life being in training camps going all the way back with Johnny Unitas way back in Golden, Colorado."
Other news, notes and observations from Tuesday's practice:
- There was plenty of specific situational work during the latter half of the afternoon, including some late-game scenarios where the offense ran a play and then had the field goal unit sprint on the field for an attempt as time expired.
- "Feel good where we're at," Reich said. "I think you can get a feel — the level of focus, the level of effort, really the execution in practice today was really good in all three phases. That gives you a sense of confidence that we are close. We got work to do this week and next week before we go into game week mode."
- Undrafted free agent linebacker JoJo Domann nearly came down with an interception in seven-on-seven; fellow undrafted free agent linebacker Sterling Weatherford had an interception later in 11-on-11.
- Quarterback Matt Ryan's connection with wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. looked as strong as ever across a few 11-on-11 periods.
- Quarterback Nick Foles found tight end Jelani Woods for a chunk gain in seven-on-seven. He connected with wide receiver Mike Strachan in a hurry-up period and then found wide receiver Ashton Dulin for a touchdown in some last-second 11-on-11 work.
The Colts returned to Grand Park for the final week of 2022 Training Camp.